Typhoons ‘trick’ Japan’s cherry trees into blooming months early | World news

The arrival of Japan’s famed cherry blossoms is the cue for groups of office workers to eat and drink, cast off their inhibitions and ponder the transient nature of life against a backdrop of pale pink petals falling to the ground. But the nationally observed rite of spring has come early, with reports from hundreds …

‘There is hope here’: Fukushima turns to tourism after nuclear meltdown | World news

Even now, almost eight years after a deadly earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the disaster’s physical legacy is impossible to avoid. The shells of gutted homes stand in barren rice paddies that lay in the path of waves that killed more than 18,000 people across three prefectures …

EU plan to reduce checks on chickens ‘will increase food poisoning risk’ | World news

Millions of chickens could soon be sold across the EU without being individually inspected for contamination or signs of disease after being killed, in a move some experts believe will put consumers at increased risk of food poisoning bugs. Under current rules, every poultry carcass is individually, visually checked after slaughter and before being released …

IPCC climate change report calls for urgent action to phase out fossil fuels – live | Environment

8.35pm EDT20:35 Some information on the report itself, outlined by chair of the IPCC, Hoesung Lee, in a speech last week (pdf). It was commissioned as part of the Paris agreement in 2016, the IPCC was invited to prepare a report assessing the impacts of 1.5C warming and related emissions pathways. “At that time, relatively …

Earth’s climate monsters could be unleashed as temperatures rise | Graham Readfearn | Environment

This week, hundreds of scientists and government officials from more than 190 countries have been buzzing around a convention centre in the South Korean city of Incheon. They are trying to agree on the first official release of a report – the bit called the Summary for Policymakers – that pulls together all of what’s …

The Guardian view on climate policy failures: don’t give up | Editorial | Opinion

The world is failing to combat the threat of climate change. Global carbon dioxide emissions from coal, oil and gas increased by 1.6% in 2017, after three years when they rose little or not at all. Demand for oil is increasing by around 1.5% a year. Last week one of the authors of a key …

Monsanto’s global weedkiller harms honeybees, research finds | Environment

The world’s most used weedkiller damages the beneficial bacteria in the guts of honeybees and makes them more prone to deadly infections, new research has found. Previous studies have shown that pesticides such as neonicotinoids cause harm to bees, whose pollination is vital to about three-quarters of all food crops. Glyphosate, manufactured by Monsanto, targets …

Pollution pushes Mongolia’s herders to reconsider city life | World news

More than a decade ago, Darii Garam, 76, moved to Ulaanbaatar with her children so they could go to school and find work beyond herding animals in the countryside. Now, the pollution, set to worsen in the approaching winter, is getting to her. “Even just going outside for a second, opening your door, your home …

Man dies from injuries suffered in shark attack off Cape Cod | US news

Police said a 26-year-old man died after being attacked by a shark off Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Lt Michael Hurley of Wellfleet police said the man succumbed to his injuries following the attack off Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet at around noon on Saturday. “Life saving measures were attempted on beach,” state police spokesman David …

‘One of the boys’: lost narwhal finds new home with band of beluga whales | Environment

Whale researchers in Quebec’s St Lawrence River are celebrating a remarkable discovery: a juvenile narwhal far from its arctic home, that appears to have been adopted by a band of beluga whales. The narwhal, more than 1,000km outside its typical range, was filmed by a drone swimming and playing with dozens of belugas that were …